Nicolae Istudor, Rector of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE Bucharest) since March 2016, formerly served as Romania’s Secretary of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, helped to establish the Ministry of Rural Development, and coordinated the SAPARD programme in Romania. He serves as the Vice-President of Romania’s National Council for Higher Education, among other important positions in the education sector, and has authored 11 books and many articles published in professional journals; he has also created the university’s Master’s degree programme in Rural Development. He has participated in around 30 national and international research projects. He discusses his priorities for ASE.
European Times: What is your main goal for the university?
Nicolae Istudor: We aim to position ASE as a regional pole for training students in economics and public administration. ASE is already viewed as the best university in its field in Romania and is experiencing growing demand among prospective students, but the university’s emphasis will continue to be on quality rather than quantity.
European Times: What about research activities?
Nicolae Istudor: Research and academic instruction are closely connected. Professors need to remain involved in research in order to keep abreast of developments in their fields and to bring something new to students. However, funding for both higher education and research is limited, so ASE plans to concentrate on applied research to help generate new sources of financing. This means maintaining strong links with the business community as well as with public institutions, which can benefit from the expertise that universities can provide.
European Times: What role can ASE play in Romania’s economy?
Nicolae Istudor: Romania’s educational programmes need to be adapted to the modern business environment, especially now that the country has joined the EU. ASE has recently signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Association of Romanian Municipalities to prepare specialists in municipal administration, and the university welcomes the chance to work with private-sector enterprises, for example in developing case studies.
European Times: How are you promoting the university to international students and partners?
Nicolae Istudor: ASE participates in international trade shows and conferences, and my colleagues and I regularly travel abroad to establish partnerships with other universities worldwide. ASE has recently created two new positions for professors who will lecture in French and German. The Bucharest University of Economic Studies will remain active, dynamic and open to students and professors from all over the world